Imbibe games. We got some really lovely preschooler friendly (no reading, no complicated rules) games for Christmas and Birthdays this year. We already had Candy Land, Shoots and Ladders, and Cootie. Now we have Hi-Ho Cherry-O, Monkey Dunk, and Don't Break the Ice added to our collection. We also have a couple of "concentration" games. These are all easier for the child to master, too, and she loves to be In charge of the game. The kids love to play these and usually once I get them started I can even sneak out for a round or two.
Invest in puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles are great, too, for problem-solving, visual-motor coordination, fine motor skills, and ample opportunity to layer on the praise and self-confidence. They require a little more supervision around our house since my kids love to mix the pieces together and use them as mini-frisbees and such. Keep an eye on all of this.
Images in paint. My new favorite art activity for the kids is watercolor. With a heavy, broad-bottomed cup of water an inexpensive brush, and some paper - scratch or otherwise - some pretty impressive art can occur with minimal input from Mom. Clean up is pretty easy, too. Rinse the brushes and throw the cups into the dishwasher. Put the masterpieces somewhere to dry and voila, we're ready for the next activity.
Investigate outdoors. At the first signs of rain my kids are usually eager to get out in it, believe it or not. The sensation of fresh water bouncing off their skin is Irresistible, it seems. Last I checked children don't melt. We have nice raincoats and boots that were just made to get wet, and even if their regular clothes get a little wet, what's another load of laundry compared to some fresh air and exercise?
If it sounds like I'm giving myself a pep talk, I am. I've mentioned before that the long rainy days of Winter can get the best of me. This too shall pass, but until it does, I want to remember these gray days as opportunities to make fond memories, not as days endured with clenched teeth.
Got any more Ideas for me? Please pass them along by clicking on "comments" below. Thanks! Don't forget to check out the other creative "I" riffs here.